Thomas Newman uses ‘tons’ of Omnisphere in James Bond Skyfall movie

After a succession of five stirring soundtracks by composer David Arnold, director Sam Mendes turned to Thomas Newman to write the original score for Skyfall, the 23rd movie of the popular 50-year-old franchise.

American composer, Newman, whose movie credits include American Beauty, Road to Perdition and the more recent The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, wrote most of the Skyfall soundtrack in London’s Abbey Road Studios, embracing the true ‘Englishness’ of the Bond franchise.

The score was also performed at Abby Road including the lushly orchestrated theme track sung and co-written by Adele and recorded with a 77-piece orchestra. Newman describes the English musicians as ‘fantastic’ praising the ‘real sense of ensemble on the way the orchestra plays’.

Spectrasonics OmnisphereWith a soundtrack that showcases a real mix of styles from rock rhythms and eerie orchestrations to perky comedy and lush jazz swaggers, the film has been slated as having one of the most impressive Bond scores to date, and we were excited to hear that Thomas Newman had also used ‘tons’ of Spectrasonics Omnisphere in the score. “Over 250 multis I’m told“, remarks founder Eric Persing on composer forum

Being one of Hollywood’s more experimental composers, Newman was asked in a recent interview with how ‘far out’ did he think he could go with Skyfall’s score…

Recording the classic Bond theme
Recording the classic Bond theme

“You have ideas, and you see if they fly. In the case of the action, there was so much going on sonically that I wondered how much space was left to hear the intricacy, and detail in the manner that I’ve scored films with before. So at the very least, I knew that sounds really needed to hit the subwoofers to really hit the audience physically. So I think I recognized that I’d have to be more extroverted with “Skyfall’s” score then maybe I’m used to being.” You can read more of the interview here.

The ever-brilliant and informative, posted a great video this week featuring the sound team behind Skyfall. Throughout the video, the Sound Mixers and Sound Editors reveal how daunting it was to integrate the sound effects with the music without obscuring the melodic lines of Newman’s score and how they enjoyed using transitional sounds for swift mood changes within the movie.

Posted by Melanie Doidge

Having worked in marketing for over fifteen years with experience in various industries, Time+Space and the world of music production continues to be the most exciting of them all. With our brands consistently pushing the boundaries of technology with their products, the terrific DJs, Composers and Producers using them and the feedback from magazines and our customers, there's always plenty to tell the world about. Musical experience? I reached Grade 6 in piano back in my school days and am currently in the throes of trying to resurrect my abilities!


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